Brief History

From books to bytes and beyond.

Described as a world-class learning hub in Engineering education, research, and service, the University of the Philippines Diliman College of Engineering Library, or more popularly called as UP Engglib, is an academic library that caters the information and recreational needs not only of its students and faculty, but also researchers from all walks of life. EnggLib is a leading library in the country and is now gradually making its presence felt in other Asian countries by establishing linkages and exposure during  regional conferences and as evidenced by benchmarking tours by other foreign institutions.

Humble beginnings

The UP College of Engineering Library traces its roots back to 1931, two decades after the College of Engineering was established. Library operations continued until the Second World War, during which the library was totally destroyed and services were nonexistent from 1945 to 1948. The Library transferred to UP Diliman, a year after the College of Engineering was relocated in the new campus. A Quonset hut provided quarters for the Library until its meager holdings were transferred to the Engineering building in 1951, where the library is settled up to the present.

Transitions

Due to the growing population of the Engineering community, the following decades after the Library has settled in its permanent quarters were marked with changes in its operations, holdings, and partnerships. During the 1950s, the Library acquired equipment to provide bibliographic and reproduction services. From 1960s to 1970s, the collections were steadily increased with the creation of the Periodical section, donations from college-based organizations, and the printed collection of distinct areas of engineering with subjects ranging from industrial engineering to environmental engineering.

The 1990s marked the beginning of significant realizations of initiatives in information technology for the Library. In 1993, it became the first library in the UP System to have a local area network (LAN)-linked microcomputers. During the latter part of the year, the Library was the first to have its local Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) ready for clients’ use and in 1994, the Library started its E-mail services.

In 1995, the Library was among the fortunate institutions comprising the Department of Science and Technology – Engineering and Science Education Project (DOST-ESEP) Library Network. This network provided connectivity to library resources and services by means of the PHNet, which was the country’s gateway to the Internet then. Cooperative acquisitions were made with the Library housing Engineering materials purchased under the DOST grant. The program also brought TinLib to the Library, a UK-developed integrated library software which replaced the Library’s local OPAC on the same year. This not only expanded Engglib’s resources, it also widened the reach and scope of its facilities and services.

The Library officially launched its Internet Service and Computing Facility in 1996, spearheaded the installation of an electronic security system in 1999, and pioneered in the use of broadband cable Internet connectivity in 2001. The Library, along with the Department of Computer Science, led the College of Engineering in proposing a funding for a UP Integrated Library System (iLib) using open source software. At present, iLib is deployed in all libraries of the constituent campuses of the University.

Gearing up

In 2007, a need to build a satellite library aroused specifically to serve the Department of Computer Science and Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute when these two departments moved to the Engineering Complex II. Being the newest library, Engglib II, as the library is more fondly known, embarked on a well-planned journey into becoming one of the most dynamic and innovative academic library in the country. And in 2009, the Engineering Research and Development for Technology (ERDT) program went on a full-swing which greatly helped Engglib to attain its vision. The funding brought about vast changes in the library, in terms of collection and physical facilities.

In 2010, the two libraries were re-organized under one management and the year after, Engglib I was renovated to have a newer and more modern ambience. Engglib, then, moved towards becoming the best IT library by harnessing the power of technologies, developing new solutions suited to the ever-changing needs of its clientele, and continuously finding new ways to improve its services with the increasing growth in student population. In 2012 and 2014, the Department of Mining, Metallurgical, and Materials Engineering (DMMME) and the Department of Chemical Engineering (DChE) respectively transferred to the Engineering Complex II as well. The library collections on both disciplines were also transferred to Engglib II.

For more than eight decades, the library has continuously realized its mandate by living up to its commitment of providing the engineers of today and tomorrow with the best and most comprehensive academic resources, innovative services and facilities - amplifying excellence and leaving a remarkable legacy for the community it serves.

 

The Head Librarians: Then and Now

Ms. Ronquillo was the very first official librarian of the College of Engineering. During her time, she was asked to convert a quonset hut into a library. She started consolidating and organizing whatever library materials were available then. A month after her assumption into office, the library opened for library services with limited resources and equipment. A bulk of library workload is concentrated in the hands of Ms. Ronquillo. In the absence of a card catalog, the library users had to make do with a temporary file that lists the subjects, authors and titles of books.

A significant event took place during her leadership: the establishment of a connection with the Library of Congress at Washington, D.C. She foresaw that the library materials may deteriorate, hence, she started preserving them. In 1950-51, the library suffered a serious drawback when the nation adopted “Import Control Law” that affected many library acquisitions. Fortunately, the library was a recipient of book donations  from both individual and institutional groups from abroad. In September 1953, Ms. Ronquillo went on a study leave, and Ms. Flora B. Libay, (A.B. Library Science) was assigned as Librarian-in-charge from 1953-1955. Immediately upon her return on June 1955, Ms. Ronquillo instituted a liberal approach to library services. Some library resources were offered with free access except for books. Circulation books were given longer loan period. Towards the end of her term, Ms. Ronquillo was able to acquire Thermofax Book Printer, a modern photocopying equipment during that time. In A.Y. 1956-57, the library acquired additional  floor space of 3,168 sq.m. to house book stacks and accommodate an office space.

Ms. Libay was assigned as Librarian-in-charge when Ms. Ronquillo took her study leave.  It was in her term that the FOA Cataloging Team was able to classify and catalog 2,000 volumes of books. Moreover, during her time as the Head Librarian, the library was able to acquire more library equipment and facilities, such as air conditioning units, venetian blinds and other improvements conducive for reading and studying. Another accomplishment is the transfer of the adjacent wing of the building to the library to be used as a browsing room. In her report, she recommended that a full-time library staff should be employed.

During Ms. Verzosa’s term, she divided the library into sections: periodical, reserve, and reference. She initiated the “Open-Shelf” system which in turn, increased the usage statistics of materials.

It was in Ms. Lopez’ term that the first Library Faculty Committee was created. The Library Faculty Committee is composed of the Head Librarian and selected faculty members of each department. She devised an easy-to-find system where technical journals are arranged by titles. In 1967, the library acquired a centralized air-conditioning system. A mezzanine floor was constructed to provide additional reading space. The library continuously received book donations from its alumni and foreign organizations such as the Ford Foundation. A 3M Microfiche reader printer was also donated during her term.

During Ms. Granda’s term, the library received several new foreign-authored textbooks through the Department of Science and Technology-Engineering Science Education Project (DOST-ESEP). A major accomplishment during her term was the installation of TINLIB and MAELISA to the computers and the establishment of an internet facility with cable internet -  among the first in UP libraries. It was also during her time that an in-house library system was proposed. Ms. Granda also proposed the creation of an archive that will house all college-related materials. It was also during this time that the construction of the Engineering Library II started.

“Librarian 2.0.” This best describes Ms. Sharon Ma. S. Esposo-Betan. It is through her leadership that the College of Engineering Library  has undergone major breakthroughs. Her exemplary performance earned her various awards: Alay sa Inhinyero Award for the Most Outstanding Librarian of the College of Engineering Library in 2006; Gawad Chancellor Para Sa Natatanging REPS award in 2009; and just recently, her second Gawad Chancellor Para Sa Natatanging REPS. Her project, The Learning Commons, was awarded as 2011’s PAARL Outstanding Library Program of the Year.

During her early years in the library, she was assigned as the section head of the Reserve Section, and Internet and Computing Facility. Through her initiative, several improvements happened in the library. These included the creation of a database for Reserve books per department and the development of the library website. Another is the migration to Linux operating systems of the PCs used at the library’s Internet facility. Ms. Esposo-Betan was a member of the Technical/ Management Team responsible for the development, design, and deployment of the iLib Integrated Library System. iLib was an answer to the rising cost of commercial library systems. As the only woman on the team, she proved that the women of today can contribute as much as men can. To date, iLib is now being implemented system-wide. Clients no longer use borrower cards and they can now reserve books online and view their transaction history.

Another major accomplishment is the establishment of Engineering Library II, or more fondly called as EnggLib2. She outlined the library’s vision, mission, programs and organization. EnggLib2 is the only UP library which has already made use of all of the iLib’s modules.

She also spearheaded the employment of  state-of-the-art security measures such as Security gate/panel at the main entrance, RFID integrated door-access, CCTV system to monitor critical areas such as the bookshelves and bag counters, and coin-operated lockers for added security of belongings. It is also the only UP library which has an automated inventory system developed from an open-source software. This paved way to a faster inventory of library materials, furniture, and equipment.

It was also Ms. Esposo-Betan’s idea to create the Orange Network. The Orange Network is a blog where newly acquired books and journals are posted, complete with the image, bibliographic record, abstract, and the recommending faculty.

Another accomplishment of Ms. Esposo-Betan is the “I need. I value. I Love My Library” campaign. This is an awareness campaign aimed at reminding users to take care of the library materials, furniture, and equipment. As of today, the campaign is being adopted by various institutions, both from the country and abroad. Another campaign she spearheaded is the “Greening the Library Project.” This campaign’s goal is to reduce the library’s ecological footprint by streamlining work processes and operations to reduce resource consumption.

Aside from these, she also set up an E-Reference Portal aimed at solving budget and space allocation issues. This enables users to browse through open-access General Reference sites such as online dictionaries, encyclopedias, directories, maps, and atlases. She also set up the E-Journals Portal, another open-access e-resource that can be accessed even at home through the library’s website. Furthermore, she initiated  the use of an open source online repository (DSpace) for newspaper clippings. At present, these portals are all integrated into one, the eGateway portal. 

It was during her time that the library realized its responsibility to adapt to the latest trends, social media accounts were made for the library. These include Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

In 2012, she saw the need to systematize and standardize the records management practices of EnggLib I and EnggLib II. With this, through her supervision and the help of developers and librarians from EnggLib, the Records Management and Archives System (RAMs) was established. The following year, she also thought of a way on how to preserve the institutional assets and heritage of the college. All of these are reflected in the Library Orientation Kit (Primer for Students and Faculty) which she and her dedicated staff came up with. It is given to all Engineering students and faculty to serve as their guide to the Library’s resources.

Ms. Esposo-Betan constantly makes EnggLib’s presence felt not only in the country but to other Asian countries as well. This she does through establishing linkages and presentations during  regional conferences.

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